You might have heard a lot about personal branding lately, but just what is it? Essentially, it's a marker developed around your name or career, according to TheBalanceSMB.com. You can keep using that marker to voice your skills, personality, and values. To grow your brand, you simply continue to let people know who you are and what you do. Here are four fun and effective approaches to accomplishing just that.
1. Create a Personal Website
One of the most essential steps in developing a personal brand is creating a personal or business website of your own. You can use your "About Us" profile and other web pages to express as much (or as little) about yourself as you want.
The BalanceSMB, however, recommends using your site to tell people about a wide variety of aspects of your personality and life so that you come across as "unique." For example, if you're a real estate broker in an up-and-coming community, you might want to discuss your main job, family, your ardent hobbies, travel experiences and any other side gigs you have.
2. Join as Many Online Social Networks as Practical
You’ll find tons of social networks now available online, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the home video-oriented YouTube, just for starters. If you’re a nubie at brand marketing, it’s probably best if you stick with upgrading old accounts or establishing new accounts on maybe five or six of them. Otherwise, the tasks could seem to be too overwhelming.
The profile pages in your social media accounts should reflect the information on your website “About Us” page, for consistency across accounts. On the other hand, though, you should use your social media sites to establish expertise in specific areas of knowledge and to giving advice in those areas. When possible, try to meet and follow major social influencers online.
3. Do Lots of Real World Networking
Real world networking is nothing to ignore, despite the ongoing boom in numbers of people who are turning to social networking. If you don’t know the names of industry associations, hobbyist organizations, and fraternal groups in your local area, use Google to find some. Then join some organizations, invite some members to lunch or dinner with you, and follow them on social media.
You can also start a small specialist interest organization yourself, and also go to physical meetups of existing real world groups, by signing up for the MeetUp.com general interest site.
4. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
A brief, persuasive speech you use to tell others about what you or your organization does is often called an elevator pitch. To build your personal brand, you need to have one. The content and delivery will differ depending on your industry and personal style, but every elevator pitch should spark the interest of listeners and answer any questions they may have. For example, if you sell Amway products, you may find that people often assume you're part of a pyramid scheme. If this is the case, your elevator pitch may include facts that dispel Amway pyramid scheme myths. Practicing your pitch over and over will prepare you for presenting your best self—which will help build your personal brand.
5. Get Your Name in a Local Newspaper
Many years ago, before the advent of the web, much of the effort expended toward “getting the word out” among corporate clients was carried out by public relations pros. These PR folks perfected the art of writing press releases that would spark interest in feature articles for local newspapers, magazines, and TV broadcasting affiliates. Even though there’s now an Internet, these traditional forms of communications can still be very impactful for brand messaging.
If you don’t know any PR pros yourself, you can certainly adopt a DIY strategy and learn how to write and deliver a press release about yourself. Although ideally there should be a specific news angle, such an as an anniversary, there doesn’t really need to be a angle. Include as many details as possible about various aspects of your life.